Community reacts to second coal mining death in Sophia - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Community reacts to second coal mining death in Sophia

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There has been another coal mining fatality in Raleigh County.  With in the first two months of 2013, there have already been four coal miners have died while on the job in West Virginia. We wanted to know what people thought about that.

"It's sad, it just breaks my heart," Rhonda Dillon of Sandlick said.

Folks living close to the Affinity Mine in Sophia were just learning the details of a miner killed on the job Tuesday. According to a press release, shuttle car operator John Myles of Fayette County died at an area hospital after being hit by a scoop.

This is the second time in just more than a week that workers at the mine had to pay a somber tribute to a fallen coworker.

If you remember, on Feb. 7, Edward Finney was also killed at the same mine, his accident also involved a scoop. The release states Finney was pushing a scoop bucket onto a hoist. The hoist moved unexpectedly and picked up the scoop.  Finney was trapped and crushed to death.

"It is just a sad time that these things happen. There is just so much pressure on them. The men, the coal companies, the inspectors they are just in a state of turmoil," Dennis Williams of Grandview said.

"Anytime you hear about something like this, it's sad,"added Angela Wyatt of Sanlick.  "Even if its not your family, its just sad."

Our news crews reached out to the owner's of the mine,  United Coal Company.

Their statement reads:

"The company is working with state and federal investigators to complete a thorough investigation of the incident. We are deeply saddened by and concerned about these events."

They said both the deaths of John Myles and Edward Finney are still being investigated.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-W.Va.) signed an executive order on Wednesday, Feb. 20 placing all mines in West Virginia to stand down for at least one hour to review safety procedures. To read more about that, click here.